We Are What We Think | Self-Knowledge

We Are What We Think | Self-Knowledge

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” – Buddha

Self-fulfillment is powerful. Buddha realized that and lived accordingly. We can do that too. We can think better of our lives. We can adjust our inner attitude. We can talk better to ourselves, lifting us up and we can walk our talk.

I notice that this saying of Buddha is true.

Are you searching for ways to improve your personal situation? Are you curious how to change your mind? Do you have the impression to fall back to bad habits every once in a while?

I can relate to that. I want to have trusting relationships and a large family, strong friendships with great friends, a reliable and amazing income stream, work that fulfills me and plenty of time.

Brooke Castillo came up with a model explaining how we achieve our results. How ever our results look like.

Our THOUGHTS create our FEELINGS which drive our ACTIONS which create our RESULTS. – Brooke Castillo

Brooke suggests that our mind either preps us or pulls us down. If we can get a hold of what our mind is thinking, we can understand our life circumstances better.

With a better understanding of ourselves and with clearness on our values and personal aspirations or goals, we can align our thoughts. We can change our mind.

Understand your self. Get a hold of your WHY. – Change your thoughts first, then change your actions.

There are some days though, when my thoughts pull me down to the ground. I feel sad, depressed and absolutely unsuccessful. During these times, I seem to be very far away from achieving my goals. My thoughts circle around in my head.

My mind imagines, that I am falling onto a chute. There is no escape then! My thoughts push me down. My thoughts and I are sliding down a huge downward spiral. As my thoughts pick up speed, I do too. Together we are racing to the bottom. Yet, I cannot see the end.

In those moments calm breathing slows me down. I breathe in and out. I notice how the air tickles the small hair on the top of my lip. Concentrating on breathing helps me slowing my thoughts, relaxing my mind, creating a new picture. The downward spiral is gone. Puff.

Quickly I feel better. I imagine myself in better times. I am successful in my job. I sit with people I like. We are laughing. In my imagination we have happy faces. Our eyes sparkle serenity. I feel good. I think better thoughts.

It is normal to have negative, disturbing thoughts. They will come our way every once in a while. It is at us to give these thoughts some space and behave mindful. Just try not to hop on the downward spiral and shoot down the chute.

Instead you could hack your own mind. Pull a trick on it. I do it this way: Pull up your eyebrows and try to be angry. It just doesn’t work. Then laugh or at least grin for 90 seconds. Laughing, even though you actually don’t feel like it, sends signals to your brain. The brain thinks that you are happy and acts accordingly. The hard drive is cleared again.

Thoughts are strong. They can either prevent our doings and set us up with procrastination or they get and keep us going pursuing our personal goals and dreams.

Are you experienced in tracking your thoughts and changing your mind successfully? How do you do it? How do you hack your brain?

Are You Searching …

Are You Searching …

The more we know, the better our understanding of the world. – Steven R. Covey

How to get peace

From my point of view there are many different possibilities to achieve and receive peace. I suggest to focus on two important and interdependent roles. First, your own role as an individual and second, as a member of a group.

Decide that you want peace. Then start planning.

As an Individual

Rumi writes, the inspiration is already within us. Be silent and listen. Gain clarity of your own role. What are your perceptions, your concepts or thought patterns, your theories of conflict, peace and life. What are your standards? How do you solve difficulties and conflicts? What are your roles? What are your goals?

Figure out your own purpose – what is your why? What is your life’s mission? Be clear about your roles. Be honest to yourself. Then create your own road map. How do you want to go about? What places do you want to see? Who do you want to meet? Specify the steps you need to take. Yes, be specific.

Tony Robbins stresses, that the only way to get better is to raise your standards. What are your standards? Which one’s can you raise, keeping in mind that you want to receive peace? Think of win-win-situations where you and the people with whom you interact improve to gain peace.

Create your own understandable, precise road map.

Start moving. Keep on moving. Importantly, follow your plan.

As a Member of a Group

You found like-minded people? You are part of a group? Do you know each other? Don’t wait for years to pass to answer the following questions. Figure them out soon and use the knowledge.

What are your views on the world? What are your pet peeves? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What do you love or dislike? What are your goals and dreams? Do you know when to support each other or when it is better to give space?

Get going. Do activities together. Serve the community. Inspire each other. Be creative and resourceful. Don’t let a narrow mind or a quick “no” stop your activities. Change your limiting beliefs. Change your strategy. Be active.

Peace kicks in when group interaction focusses on win-win-activities. Every group member is precious. There is hardly a limit to group activities as long as the win-win attitude stays in focus.

The more people who stick their heads together, the more energy is set free, the more good life, the more peace, is being experienced.

You can laugh, sing, dance, search, cook, eat, celebrate, play, create, achieve, be sad, be spiritual or be on the road together and much more.

Continue your activities.

How to Deepen Peace

Once you’ve figured yourself out, you are part of a group and have experienced peace. Take a step to the side. Reflect what has happened up to now. See the things as they are. Not worse than they are.

Here are some helpful questions:

  1. What happened? What did I/we do? What sticks in your mind? What struck me/us?
  2. What were eye-openers, what made me/us enthusiastic, happy, involved? What was I/were we less happy about? What was a high/low point? What did it remind me/us of?
  3. Why did I/we respond this way to what happened? What ideas about peace were confirmed, what was challenged? What are areas for further exploration?
  4. What am I/are we going to change or add to my/our way to peace? What does it imply for my/our activities?

Be clear to yourself just a few deviations can lead you to a totally different location. Adjust your road map if necessary.

Keep in mind that two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet both be right. It’s not logical. It’s psychological. – Steven R. Covey

Follow-up. Gain insight. Get moving again. Head on to your goals.

How to Make Peace Your Habit

Be clear on your roles and goals as an individual and as a member of a group. Keep the win-win-attitude in place. Experience rewarding moments of peace both as an individual and group member. Those moments trigger the interest to experience rewarding moments again. Get into the drive.We are what we repeatedly do. – Aristotle

Have a strong motivation and a set of habits that pull you through tough times.

Take an in-depth look at your goals and your road map. Then put to paper why you want to achieve your goals. What is your purpose? For what do you want to be remembered? What drives you? What story are you telling yourself? What is the story your group relies on? Gain a clear picture of your WHY. That is your motivation.

Create your own set of peace habits (for inspiration click here). Do them repeatedly. Let them grow strong. Motivation sets you off and your habits keep you going.Success is a matter of understanding and religiously practicing specific, simple habits that always lead to success. – Roger J. Ringer

28 Quotes on Good Life | Challenge

28 Quotes on Good Life | Challenge

Believing that the wish to live a good life is necessary to utilize Peace Habits in your own life, I invite you to watch Jonathan Fields’ interviews at Good Life Project. He has interviewed many purpose-driven entrepreneurs, thought-leaders, world-shakers and artists exploring what it means to live a good life. Here are some of the statements that his friends shared.

Be Intentional

You get to decide what is good for you. – Seth Godin

Find your calling, know it and get to do it. – Vani Hari

Be deliberate the way you live your life. – A.J. & Melissa Leon

When things will be different, because you are being intentional. – Scott Dinsmore

Flourishing life where you feel at peace with your past, optimistic about your future and at the moment do the best you can be, present and happy. Be aligned with who you are. – Emiliya Zhlvotoskaya.


When I lay my head down at night and feel peaceful. – Michael Port

Ease, abundance and amusement. – Erin Weed


Individual and together – have a happy life. – Brad Feld

To always be great. To always be learning. To always be stretching. – Karen Salmansohn

Be aware of your life, everything in it and everything that is important. – Wokie Nwabueze


Don’t take things too seriously. Celebrate. – Marie Forleo


Integration ⎼ integrating the wholeness of who we are. – Jerry Colonna

Living with passion. – Vernon Bush

Love. – Danielle LaPorte

Gratitude. – Brené Brown

Love and connection. – Patricia Moreno

Be of Service

A life of heartfelt connection, for contribution and service. – Tami Simon

Nothing better than helping fellow human beings. ⎼ It makes everything worthwhile. – Leo Babauta

Connecting with one person and making the difference for her or him. – Helene Godin

Be Brave

Live with bravery. Live with a sense of not giving up. – Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Be the best version of myself ever single day. – Lewis Howes

The braver I get and the more I’m willing to live my life out of the box, the better my life gets. – Lissa Rankin

The extend in which I can stay true to myself, live an authentic life, make the work that I want to make in ways that feel good to me. – Lisa Congdon

Wake up in the morning and do something that I find meaningful. Something that I inherently enjoy. Something that I think, that makes a contribution to the world in a tiny way. – Dan Pink

Be Happy

Get the time doing the things that make you happy. – Kate Northrup

You Are Enough

Be happy with what you have, knowing that it’s enough, knowing that you’re enough. Feeling that sense of connection to source and self. – Kris Can

Know that you are perfectly fine. Like really. And that you will become who you are meant to be. – Rhonda Britten

Being exactly who I am and being honest about it. Don’t apologize. Maybe along the way, I have helped a few people feel the same way. – Erika Napoletano

Your Challenge
The challenge is, finding out what your good life’s about! Live your life with passion and an idea where to you are heading.

So, what is your good life?

Kick off Group Dynamics | Strengthening Groups

Kick off Group Dynamics | Strengthening Groups

You have a bunch of youth gathering together to form a new group? You’re looking for ideas how to motivate them? Perhaps this idea for one of the first meetings inspires you and your group.

A Thrill of Anticipation
Have them sit together in a circle and invite them to do something special. Create a thrill of anticipation. Dim the light or use the nightfall. Light some candles creating a middle of your circle. Hand out some sparklers, one to each member of your group. Let them wonder what might happen next.

Tempt Them With Enthusiasm
Calm your group down and give them a speech of inspiration. A speech that they will not forget. Motivate them with every word you say. Tempt them with your enthusiasm to discover themselves as a group and as individuals.

Speak about dreaming, seeing and doing! Address your group directly.

A New Stage of Life
Together we set out into a new stage of your life. Have mutual trust in each other. Become team players. Focus on your strengths within your group. Put your group first. Understand that life is about we. Soon you will enjoy new levels of perhaps unseen strengths within your group. Your group will become your circle of friends. Together you can come up with ideas you might never tackle alone. Strengthening each other, your ideas will easily grow. Together you can take massive action and achieve what you set out for.

Be Hopeful
Imagine freedom for all of humanity. Have a mission. Speak up when you notice injustice. Believe in freedom, trust and solidarity. If applicable, resist injustice. Practice civil courage. Be honest, be wise and act the way you talk. Stand together in hope.

Be Peaceful
Be open to the people around you. Grow your network of friends. Be empathetic. Be there. Search and discover truth. Get to the bottom of things and opinions. Develop your own point of view. Develop a stance with your group. Find peaceful ways to get to sound agreements. Be reliable.

Be Truthful
Discover and feel your new community. Need each other. Be considerate. Be vigilant.

Agree upon rules for your group and stick to them. Make them real. And THEN, dream big. Don’t hold yourself back with ifs and how tos. Dream of activities, places to travel to and people to meet. See yourself doing it. Describe what you see. Be different by choice. Go backwards. Take your achievement and think of necessary steps that led you there. Create a game plan. Stick your heads together. Be bold and do it.

The promise is there: Your success will come!

Next, invite two members of your group to lighten their sparklers. Ask them to pass on the fire, by connecting there sparkler with the direct neighbor. Let the sparkle/the fire be passed on throughout the group. When all are lit, repeat the promise: Our success will come!

Self-Encouragement | Surmount Inner Barricades

Self-Encouragement | Surmount Inner Barricades

Les Brown tells me every morning, that changing my mind is not easy, but it’s necessary. It has become a ritual to listen to this motivation vid.

Les tells me, that there is nothing as powerful as a changed mind. If you don’t change your mind, the same experience will perpetuate itself over and over again. If you want something out of life. If there’s some goal you want to reach, changing your behavior, overcoming negative habits is challenging, it’s hard!

I agree completely. It is hard to change my mind.

I know my goal: With this blog I want to spread knowledge on how to get peace, how to deepen the experience of perfect peace and how to make best peace experiences your routine.

During the past weeks my experiences have perpetuated themselves over and over again. I experience pain by not continuing ideas at Peace Habits, by pushing them forward to tomorrow.

My head is busy all the time.

Especially at the moment, when I sit down to blog, my distractions are immense: I could do this, and this, and this and this. It seemed a bit, that I lost my focus.

Luckily I find inspiration through short videos on motivation and kind people such as Tony Robbins. His perspectives on life have also become part of my morning routine. Tony says, the only thing that is going to make you happy, is to step up, raise your standard, discover what you are capable of and feel the incredible power of pushing through whatever is holding you back. That way you can get to the other side of more of your true self.

I can relate to that. Some weeks ago, I hired a personal coach. With him I tackle my body fat and build up strong muscles. He supports me in pushing through whatever is holding me back. I noticed that it is often not my muscles that are holding me back. It is my brain. The brain signalizes, it’s enough. But pushing past that signal gives me a wonderful feeling. I strive.

At first I thought, with him I will become slimmer and gain strength for my body. It is slightly different though. On top of loosing body fat and gaining strength, I tackle will power. Together with him, I push through whatever is holding me back and by pushing through that, I often get to better results. My coach does not do it for me. He pushes me verbally. He demands a bit more. Trying harder has become a game. It has become fun!

Understanding the importance of pushing through difficulties prompts many rituals of my daily life. As a result, my daily routine is changing.

Finishing up with the great teacher Les, when you step into your fears, something is happening for you. Face defeat again and again. Know what you want! Harness your will. The human spirit is powerful. You are unstoppable. Live your life with passion. Push your self! Sell your self. Convince you.

What’s your way of selling yourself? What do you tell yourself to push through fear and surmount your barricades? Write your answers down below, I’d be glad to learn from you.

Being True to Yourself | Self-Motivation

Being True to Yourself | Self-Motivation

Do you wonder what let’s you rise in the early morning hours? From where you could get the necessary energy to get out of your bed? Are you experienced in postponing your goals?

I surely am.

Here’s my approach for the next 30 days: I will plan my mornings each evening ahead of time. I focus on opportunities. I want to get a head start on them!

The Idea
The goal is to get up and have a great start into the day. Especially, starting each day with a strengthening morning ritual. I want to gather plenty of energy that carries me through my day. I imagine that I gain this positive energy after completing a blog post each morning. Having finished an important task, I’ll be successful during the rest of the day as well.

Low Effort?
I heard Les Brown ask ‘What are you thinking about, when your effort is low?’

I’m surely not thinking of success or opportunity then. During those moments I rather think of postponing, because that is easy to do. With a rational mind I agree to what Jim Rohn said: ‘It’s easy to do it and it’s easy not do it.‘ Furthermore, ‘If we choose the easy way, our life will be hard.’ If we act and get through our fears, we will grow and strive.

Thought Process
In this sense, being true to myself means, getting up in the early mornings, getting used to my strengthening new rituals.

That were my thoughts last night. I still stick to them.

The Reality!
This morning though, my normal morning habits fell into place: I got up one hour later than imagined, took a shower, brewed a cup of coffee, had it with delight and practiced a 18 minutes meditation. I got dressed and here I am sitting and typing.

I understand now, that it takes greater effort to swap existing rituals against new rituals. The next milestone to reach is, enabling the growth of the new ritual into an unbreakable habit.

Outside Motivation
Just 24 days ago, I began meditating with the support of Insight Timer. At first, I used this app only as a reminder during my meditations, hearing the ringing of the sound bowl. Soon the Insight Timer became more stimulating.

Rewarding Success
I like that it rewards my success with a star (for meditating 10 consecutive days). After every meditation it asks me how I feel and logs my experiences. I look at pictures of other people who are meditating ‘with me‘. Some faces are there regularly with me. What I like best about the app, it makes it easy for me, to stick to my meditation. I connected the picture and ringing of the sound bowl to a pleasant feeling.

Something like that would be great for creating new habits. Who has programmed an app like that?

One week later. The blog post isn’t postet yet. Obviously, my approach is not working. There seems to be no breakthrough in sight. So what is it, that does support a breakthrough in our life?

The Tony Robbins Breakthrough Method
Tony focusses on achieving our targets by revealing our human needs. He noticed that most of us stick to our problems, because we meet our needs that way. He differentiates problems into 2 categories: The quality problems, involving risky forward thinking and decision-making that take us to another level in our life and the safe problems, that are lingering issues which lie in our control. The safe problems seem safe because they seemingly protect us from our fear that if we try and fail, we won’t be enough and won’t be loved. Tony points out that safe problems often come into play, when we come up with quality problems, just like adding a new habit into our life. Thus, instead of solving the quality problem, our brain makes us aware of our safe problems and keeps us there. Our brain loves routine and adding a new habit is not routine.

If we are holding on to a low-quality problem, Tony suggests to ask and answer the following questions.

(1) What is the problem costing me and the people around me?
(2) Does it help me give to others or does it steal attention and emotion from my loved ones?

He then strongly suggests to look into the situation of how our life could be like, if the problem disappeared.
(1) What would be next for me?
(2) Who could I serve?
(3) Who would be happier?
(4) Whose life would be changed to see me happy and making progress?

The next step is to decide on one way that we are going to block ourselves from indulging in a low-quality problem this week. We need to think of one way, that we will be saying „NO“ to that problem. Tony emphasis to commit to this sought out change directly.

The Brooke Castillo Do-Goals
Brooke acknowledges that our brain comes up with all possible ways to hinder us changing our habits. When changing our status quo emotions and thoughts will come up. She says, that is just part of the process. We shall not be irritated when fear, doubt, disbelief or shame come to our mind. It will get even worse, when we tell us phrases such as, …

I don’t know.
I’m not sure.
I’m confused.
Maybe this isn’t the right thing for me.
Maybe I should wait a while.
Maybe I should change my mind.

From her experience, „I don’t know“ is the worst of all. This thought blocks everything very efficiently.

Brooke suggests to decide on do-goals, which are achievable goals that get us going intensively. She’s sure, the resulting motivation level will go through the roof. Here’s the plan:

(1) Write down 25 things you really want and already have. Want them from abundance. Brooke explains that we can trick our mind. We just need to continuously tell us, what we really want and have achieved already and then squeeze in one new goal. Fit it in between goals that have been achieved already.
(2) Get specific and come up with all possible details. Write them all down. It is important to get it out of our brain and onto paper. The more specific the better, but we shall not include the how! – Our brains will want to knock us down. Our brains will try hard to keep us within our comfort zone.
(3) Read it every single day.
(4) As soon as the negative emotions and thoughts come up, write them all down too. Get them out of the head and then head to a place in your mind, where the new goal has been completed already.
(5) We shall imagine a state in which we could not fail. When you’re there, write down all what you could do, understanding that failing is not an option. Evaluate, address, pay attention and then go right past your negative thoughts and feelings.
(6) Write your action plan backwards! Remember your state of abundance and think of the necessary steps you need to do. Break the goals down into doable smaller steps. That way, Brooke points out, we give ourselves a lot of wisdom. It is possible to figure every thing out. We just need to try and develop our muscles.
(7) Then commit to your do-goal. The question we need to answer for this is, do we really want to do it? If so, do it 200 times this year. Push it! Be committed!

Both, Tony and Brooke, emphasis that commitment is key. They offer questions to ask and go deeper to the root causes. I suppose digging deep to the root is like digging in my garden. After only little digging, I hit marl-stone and going deeper becomes difficult. There are ways to dig deeper though. Strong muscles are part of that, but so is wit. As I understand Tony and Brooke, it is wit that brings us closer to achieving our goals. The muscles are important, but will be trained along the way. I know that for sure, because no stone has prevented me from planting flowers in my blooming garden.

I will try both methods, Tony’s and Brooke’s, and keep you updated, which works best for me. If it works out well, my blog posts will show up more frequently. Now that would be great!

What about you? Do you have methods that work well for you? What do you suggest? Please leave your ideas or questions below. I’d like to learn from your experiences too. Striving to get better every day!

Psst, here’s your sign!

Psst, here’s your sign!

Often I wonder how to recognize the signs that send me into the right direction. Yesterday I heard somebody say, “Psst, here’s your sign. Move to the left. Just a few steps. Look down. There it is.” Nothing big. Just a nice little sign, keeping me on track.

Many people walk through life with their eyes wide open, staring into the sky and waiting for the big signs to turn up. Seemingly, no sign comes. They lose hope and fright crawls in.   It is easy to feel alone. It easy to give up. It is easy to stop searching.

What happens when you stop searching?

Self-respect goes down. Happiness diminishes. Emotions tend to weigh heavy pulling us down. I’ve been there too. Living life seems reduced to a rat race. Breathing is shallow. Sighing becomes normal. Shoulders sink in. Talk reflects negative acceptance of day-to-day life.

Some times life seems to be like a slippery slope. One day your up and striving and next you trip and slip down the slope.

What can we do to prevent slipping down?

Look at the children! How do children play? How do they move? What language do they use? Where do they get their language from? Who are their role models? What are they looking at? How are their senses seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling involved? How are they moving around? Which emotions are moving them? What facial expressions can you see? How are they breathing? How does their breathing alter? How long are they sad? How do they switch from happiness to sadness and back again?

What to do with this knowledge?

I try to use it. I try to get better every day. Whenever I slip now, I try hard to get back up quick. I brush my pants off, just as if I had fell into dust, and change my state. I think of something fun to do or focus on my current goal. Changing my state seems to be more difficult now than when I was a child. I don’t know why that is. Perhaps I’m thinking too much. As a child I was more into doing.

Recently I began jumping around again (literally), seemingly out of nothing. Jumping like a child helps me change my state directly. After having jumped I always have to laugh or at least smile intensely. I even jump in front of my colleagues. That seems so unconventional crazy that it is a lot of fun.

Ao just push the pain away?

Don’t go through life avoiding pain. As Les Brown put’s it, all of us have storms inside of us. These storms don’t necessarily show, but they occur every once in a while. We all have problems and with them comes fear. Fear often leads to inner confusion. Unfortunately, that confusion holds us back. In those moments, just tell yourself to shut up. Make a conscious decision. Stick to your decision. Create your own disciplines that match your decision. A few disciplines practiced every day, lead to success.

So what about the signs?

It is easy to search and it is easy not to search for life improvements. It is easy to get overwhelmed and it is easy to make decisions. We always make decisions. We always pass by signs. If we lose our focus, we surely do not recognize our signs. Staying in focus, staying with an open and thankful mind helps us, to use all of our senses. Our senses support our emotions and when we are feeling right, we can see the signs. Your sign might just be the affirmation you have been waiting for. Your sign can be an interaction with another person, a thing, a ray of light, a breeze, a sound, a smell, a taste, a word, a feeling. Be open and trust yourself. Search and you will find.



Self-Confidence | Success Leaves Clues

Self-Confidence | Success Leaves Clues

Are you usually struggling to vacuum your apartment or cleaning the windows? These tasks just slip away from me during normal weeks. Then there are these other weeks, when suddenly cleaning the apartment meticulously becomes easy.

These are the weeks, when I am focussing on changing my behavior. When I am focussing on building stronger self-confidence. When I am dreaming of new goals and starting to see them. When I start to head towards them.

Last night, I scrubbed my patio.

Procrastination is one of the largest hurdles I set in my path towards my goals. These hurdles actually keep my self-confidence from growing too. Thinking about that, I wonder why I set these hurdles up in the first place.

Perfectionism also plays an important role in hindering growing my self-confidence and thus reaching my goals. And again it is me, that keeps on holding myself back, with the thought that one day, I’ll be better. Since better is seldom enough, I get sidetracked.

I got sidetracked. I postponed my blog for several months now. – What am I afraid of?

Les Brown says, fear is the greatest hindering. We are afraid of failing. We are afraid of not being appreciated by our peers, by other people. He also says, that it is not easy to push through. Push yourself through the fear. Imagine your fear being a cloud. You cannot see the other side. You cannot see the sun shine. If you want to reach the other side, just take one step at the time.

Recently I heard Jamie Masters say, if you found the right way, but choose to sit on it, others will run you over. So true.

Both, Les and Jamie, give us clues how to act. Note, they don`t suggest to react to the situation we maneuvered into. They say, have the best strategy, create a roadmap and follow it. Keep adjusting it, as you move on, but move. One step at the time.

Moving prevents procrastination. Moving also prevents perfectionism. Moving prevents fear from growing. It actually can reduce fear. Moving is motion. As Tony Robbins says, motions are necessary to create emotions. I need good emotions to fuel my motor. They get me going on my path. Positive emotions let me get creative when hurdles lay on my way. And then, creativity boosts my self-confidence.

Envisioning my goals, actually seeing them, nearly feeling the state that they create for me,  really boosts my energy and strengthens my self-confidence.

The clue is to know your own goals. To see them reached and to imagine how great it feels, when they are won. Get the right strategy and cling to it. Maneuver and adjust your inner compass. Be relentless. Be creative. Be confident. Strive!


Self-Encouragement | The Secret of Great Creative People

Self-Encouragement | The Secret of Great Creative People

You ever wondered how great people come up with so many fantastic questions? You are interested to learn how to develop questions naturally? – This approach might be just right for you.

Leave your electronic devices at home, go outside and breathe fresh air. Walk in silence and absorb what is happening around you. Breathe. Relax. Let your thoughts run free.

Watch your steps. What does the pavement look like? How does it feel to walk on it? Are you walking the streets of your neighborhood? What kinds of houses are there in your neighborhood? Do you like their architecture? What do you like best? Do you want to live there? Can you imagine yourself living in a different place?

How are the windows and windowsills decorated? Can you look through the windows that you are walking past? What are the ceilings inside like? What kind of paint did the residents choose? Do you like their lamps? Would you choose a lamp like that? What kind of lamps do you like? Which ones would you like to buy? Where could you buy them? What do they cost? How do your favorite lamps match with your dream apartment? What kind of furniture do you need for your dream apartment or is it a house that you are dreaming of?

Do you like the neighborhood that you are passing through? Are there enough parking spaces there? Where would you like to park your car? Do you want to have a car? Do you have a car and want to change it? What car models are parked there? Which one do you like? Why do you like it? What do you want to transport with it? Are you into car sharing instead? Is there a car sharing station near by?

What kind of stores have you seen while walking around? What stores are important to you? Do you need them close to your home? Do you prefer to drive to a large shopping center or do you want to support small stores in the neighborhood?

Who are you passing by outside? Who is outside for fresh air? Is the air fresh? Whom do you want to meet? Is your neighborhood mixed? Is every person welcome? Are old people sitting on benches, chatting with each other (or is it too cold to sit outside where you are walking)?

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people” – Leo Burnett

Train yourself to ask questions. Walk around. Be open-minded and think of as many questions as you can. Be calm and absorb your surroundings. Become inspired to ask, ask, ask.

Self-Encouragement | What are your goals and dreams?

Self-Encouragement | What are your goals and dreams?

We get what we deserve. – So what do we deserve and who decides on it?

To be blunt, it’s your own responsibility. You make the decision. You set the course for your goals and dreams.

„You were born to win, but to be a winner you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win“. – Zig Ziglar

– If you believe in yourself and work towards achieving your goals, you will reach them.
– If you set up a route determining the shortest and safest way to your goals and follow your plan, you will reach them.
– If you differentiate between activities that lead you to your goals and those that let you procrastinate, and if you then pursue your goals, you will reach them.

Jim Rohn reveals the secret to success: just practice a few disciplines every day.

“Okay, but what if I’m not clear on my own goals and dreams? In the end they might all be only dreams, bursting like a soap-bubble.”

Here’s my suggestion: Take some time off and relax. You might enjoy going for a walk in a park first. Breathe. Then grab a pencil and a blank sheet of paper. Find a place to sit where you are not disturbed. Think about your life today:

Where are you now?
Who are you?
Are you with your loved ones?
What do you do for a living and is it paying off?
How much time and money do you spend on your hobbies?
Do you take time off to travel and refuel your personal power tanks?
Do you love your job?

Imagine your life to come:

What are your goals and dreams?
Where do you want to live?
What does your house/apartment look like?
What kind of interior design do you like best?
What kind of knowledge interests you?
What new knowledge do you want to acquire?
Who do you want to learn from?
What job, career and income goals are important to you?
What kind of car do you want to drive?
Where to do you want to travel?
What do you want to see in this world?
What events are important to you?
What hobbies do you love?
What hobbies will be yours in future?
What social projects will you support?
How many friends do you want to have?
Who is in your network?
Who do you want to develop a strong and reliable friendship with?

Use your pencil and blank paper. Write down your thoughts, draw sketches of your new house, your car or your boat. Connect your ideas, dreams and goals to each other. Create a mind map! Let all your thoughts and ideas pour out of you. All your thoughts are welcome! Fill your paper until you feel good with it.

Then change into a lower gear again. Get up, move around and breathe. Get fresh air again. After five minutes return to your mind map. Take a good look at it. Is there something that you want to add? – Add it.

There they are: Your own personal goals and dreams!

Refuel and Transform Tiredness into Greatness | Practice Communication Habits

Refuel and Transform Tiredness into Greatness | Practice Communication Habits

Do you feel tired and exhausted? You worked long hours every day of the week. Are you longing for a relaxing weekend or time off on your couch? But there’s this meeting with your friends this evening. You feel your just not up to it. You push yourself to meet them. And then, as out of nothing, your meeting is great! Your motivated and happy! It is plain fun!

Your mind shifted. Your approach shifted. You let go off your negative thoughts and forgot about your tiredness.

The atmosphere was just right. There was a positive group climate which enabled positive group dynamics. You smiled at each other and laughed. Your energy level refueled. You feel great! Your tiredness transformed into greatness!


Are you curious how to refuel and transform tiredness into greatness?

Here are some ideas: Go out and meet your friends!


Take on Leadership – Ask and Listen

You provide structure, establish limits and maintain a group order. You ensure that everyone is being heard. You encourage creativity. You give space to ask all sorts of questions and provide answers. You empower your friends to ask and answer open questions. Ask follow-up questions. Usually you’re not the only one who misunderstood a statement or question. Ask and listen.


Interact and Empower 

Be supportive and valuing. Encourage interaction. A good way to do this is to glance around the group, smile at your friends and encourage them to join the talking by looking at them openly. Signalize them that you are curious to hear their opinion.


Understand the Signals

Look for signals and use non-verbal communication. Are your friends leaning into the group or are they stepping back. Which direction are they looking at? Are they focussing on the group or their mobile phone? Are they staring at the door or focussing on each other?


Be Interesting

Bring up interesting subjects and shut out subjects that lead nowhere. redirect if necessary. Trust your group that positive group climate will enfold. Be part of this positive group climate. Smile! Enjoy the time with your friends. Enjoy the answers that you all receive. Take them as a present and be thankful.


Take it to the Next Level

Refueling with your friends is great and mostly easy. Meeting with strangers might be a challenge at the beginning. But if you stick to the habits above, if you focus on asking and listening, if you take on leadership, interact and empower, understand the inter-communication patterns and signals and if you keep on smiling and stay continuously interesting. Then, you will become an expert on transforming not only your tiredness to greatness, but also of the people you are with. A trait that feels tremendously great.



18 Proven Habits to Create an Honest and Deep Conversation

18 Proven Habits to Create an Honest and Deep Conversation

„You can make more friends in 2 months by becoming more interested in other people than you can in 2 years by trying to get people interested in you“. – Dale Carnegie

Are you searching for answers how to develop great conversational skills?

Are you curious what habits lead you to honest conversations?

Then this might be of interest to you.


Friendship Develops on the Side Line

Last fall I participated in the 11th Euro-Arab Gathering in the Sultanate of Oman. That was a conference on enhancing intercultural meetings of youth and young adults of the European and Arab regions.

It was a challenging conference because delegates from 25 different countries were present. We were merging more than 25 different approaches on how to host an international event and working towards a successful outcome.

Although enhancing intercultural encounters was the main reason for this gathering, developing friendship among the participants was obviously not part of the conference. There was just no time for that during the day.


18 Habits Create a Trusting Conversation

At night some of us went to the beach in Muscat. We sat together, drank freshly pressed lemon-mint juices, tea or water and shared a nargile. We adapted to the lifestyle of Oman.

We were open-minded people from Oman, Palestine, Italy, Poland, Croatia, Spain, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Already during the first night out, we spoke in depth about peace in Palestine and Israel. It was a heated and highly emotional discussion. I was amazed that we dared to speak freely of the necessity of meetings between Palestinian and Israeli people.

It is an objective of conflict transformation to bring people together who are in conflict with each other. Inviting them to listen to each other, not necessarily understanding the pain points but acknowledging them.

My new Palestinian friend was absolutely not interested in that suggestion! Based on his very own experience of living under the destructive force of the occupation of Palestine. Why should he? – Why would he acknowledge their pain?

From his perspective no other people is being treated as badly as his people. From his perspective there might never be a chance for peace.

I felt with him and disagreed.

Then my new Polish friends took over. They told us about their experiences growing up in Poland after World War II. They told us about their lives during the forced displacement. They were oppressed by Germany and later by Russia. Their own government used their military to force Poles into moving to the middle of Poland, thereby often confiscating household goods and furniture, devaluating ration coupons and using brutal force.

Our heated discussion calmed down immediately.

Both groups, the new friends from France and the Polish, pointed out that it is possible to strive forward in peace with those who have oppressed. They looked at me, the German.

In Europe the peoples have managed to move away from conflict. Our governments in Europe are still working on reconciliation.

And here we are, sitting together: Poles, French and Germans – in Oman – sharing not only nargile but also thoughts, experiences and emotions, engaging in an honest and deep conversation. – Peace is possible.


Let’s Get to the Point!

Here’s a recap of the habits that were in place, when we were at our best:

We were …

  1. curious (interested in each other’s stories, experiences, ideas and opinions)
  2. relaxed (relaxed – alert – relaxed)
  3. positive
  4. friendly
  5. smiling
  6. caring
  7. empathetic (sad and shocked when we heard each other out)
  8. actively mirroring each other (gestures, postures, tone, rate of speaking)
  9. keeping eye-contact
  10. honest
  11. trusting each other
  12. courageous
  13. keeping it personal
  14. sharing experiences
  15. keeping our wording simple and straight forward
  16. asking questions to avoid misunderstandings
  17. asking questions to deepen the conversation
  18. summarizing what was said, signalizing understanding


Are You Interested in Further Reading?

Check these books out:

Dale Carnegie: How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Roger Alies: You Are The Message. Getting What You Want By Being Who You are.

Richard H. Axelrod et al.: You Don’t Have To Do It Alone. How To Involve Others To Get Things Done.



Peace Habits is a new project. Born out of the eager desire to foster peace and strengthen existing projects which are committed to peace.
Peace Habits focusses on habits that are in place when peace among people is at it’s best.
I am Karl Goldstein.
I have worked as a consultant for peace in Palestine and Israel. My heart beats for scouting: For more than thirty years I have been committed to Baden Powell’s vision of “Creating a better world”.
It is our mission to educate young people to play an active role in society. We involve, excite and empower them and ourselves.
I have the desire to strengthen the democratic society that enables its people to develop their best.
To me habits of peace are more than a set of tools to achieve a greater cause. To me those habits are a way of life.
At Peace Habits we have the eager desire to support personal change – your personal development, if you like – and to promote positive group development.
Peace Habits provides inspiration for your personal development. You want to go deeper in your own reflection?
Ask questions like these: What happens? What’s the matter? What questions go further? What questions lead to positive change?
Peace Habits encourages you to take recreational time-outs for yourself. – Be the best you can be!
Being the best you can be is the best foundation for the growth of friendship and lasting peace!
At Peace Habits we engage in group activities:
– bridging gaps
– bringing people together
– getting them to explore one and another
– meanwhile understanding their own roles even better
Challenging, fun group activities are the key to unfolding positive group interaction.
They can be entry points for habits of peace.
We focus on patterns that foster habits. We forward information to you and your group on how to do it yourself/yourselves, or how to adapt habits of peace. – Great habits that make your, their and our life better.
Let’s continue making our world a better place!
Story Telling
I like the story of the sower – also known as the parable of the soils. It’s from the bible.
I’m not an expert on the bible. I like what I read and understand:
Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the birds of the air came and ate it up. 
And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately sprang up, because it had not depth of earth: but when the sun was up, it was scorched, and because it had no deep root, it withered away.
And some fell among thorns, the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 
And other fell on good ground, did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, some hundred.
– Mark 4, 3:9
Habits of peace are seeds planted in soils – giving life to a greater cause.
Are you the good ground?
We aren’t responsible for the growth of peace among each other/peoples.
Just as we are not responsible for the growth of beautiful maple trees.
We may plant the seeds. Take care of the good soil. Give some fertilizer – perhaps. But we cannot pull on the seedling to make it beautiful. That’s nature’s deal. That’s God’s part.
We are responsible for sowing.
We can influence the choice of ground.
We can create an attractive atmosphere inside ourselves and among each other.
We are the caretakers!
Let’s take care together!
Let’s do it!

First Steps Are Filled With Curiosity

First Steps Are Filled With Curiosity

Imagine this situation: You travel to a place that is new to you. You meet people whom you haven’t met before. You participate in a meeting with people from different nationalities and origins. Every thing there is new to you. The meeting is taking place in a city in which you haven’t been to before. Your first steps in the venue are filled with curiosity.

You register and receive your name tag. While you are relaxing from your journey other participants arrive. It’s a crowd of people. Some smile, some don’t. But as soon as they’ve registered their anxiety drops. You catch their first smile. You exchange a short hello. Then the group scatters preparing for the beginning of the meeting.

Does that sound familiar to you?

Now it is up to you to decide how your meeting shall run. Are you open to get to know new people, make some new friends?

I have been to several meetings during the past thirty years. Most where recreational others where work related. The meetings with the best encounters where those, where the participants were open-minded, curious, smiling and laughing!